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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The day before reform: Causes of state campaign finance reform 1970–2005
by Jengeleski Philipp, Jessica, Ph.D., Temple University, 2013, 236; 3552330
Abstract (Summary)

State legislative campaign finance reform varies considerably among states and over time. Over the past 35 years states have adopted increasingly stronger reform policies; however, many disparities between states still exist. Current state legislative campaign finance laws range from disclosure only to clean elections programs. All states have disclosure laws, while only three have clean elections regulations. Many studies of state campaign finance reform examine the regulatory effects on campaigns and elections (e.g., Thompson and Moncrief 1998; Francia and Herrnson 2003) but none consider the causes of such reforms. This dissertation employs a unique research strategy by individually analyzing the specific types of state legislative campaign finance reform: 1) disclosure, 2) contribution limits, and 3) expenditure limits and public funding from 1970-2005. What emerges from these analyses indicates the conditions under which states have adopted more and less stringent types of legislative campaign finance reform. It examines the extent to which legislative professionalism, Democratic control of government, political scandals, and the initiative affect the stringency of campaign finance reform in the states. Just because a state requires legislative candidates to disclose campaign finance figures does not mean that the requirement is strong when compared to what other states are doing. Measuring the type of campaign finance reform based on a unique stringency scale allows us to understand the conditions under which a state supports strong or weak campaign finance laws.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kolodny, Robin
Commitee: Arceneaux, Kevin, Gilbert, Melissa, Mullin, Megan
School: Temple University
Department: Political Science
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Political science
Keywords: Campaign finance reform, State legislatures, States
Publication Number: 3552330
ISBN: 978-1-267-90776-9
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